Silencing the Internal Pressure to be the Blogger I’m Not

Blogging has been my hobby for two decades now. I mean that quite literally. And during these past twenty years, blogging evolved from inane ramblings on personal websites built on Geocities to polished content creation with the unstated intent to sell something to the readers. It could be a lifestyle. It could be a self-published book. It could be an online course on how to make money from blogging. Heck, it could even be Books & Tea (the former title of this blog for new readers).

I can admit that sometimes I get caught up in the appeal of influencer culture. My heart skipped beats the day I was approved to read an Advance Reader Copy of The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson. And then again when I was invited to participate in book tours. And I’m sure I damn near hyperventilated the day Adagio Teas offered me some of their teas in exchange for reviews on my site. So, it was inevitable that I tried to evolve with the medium; it was like I was chasing a high. I choked down article after article about SEO Optimization, branding, how to use social media to drive traffic, and building e-mail lists. Then, this blog, this outlet for creativity, became a job. A chore. A burden.

It’s cyclical and it usually goes like this:

  1. I write and publish with a fervor.
  2. I think to myself, I could make something of myself and this little blog, so I spend countless hours working my way through branding workbooks or researching blog monetization.
  3. I devise weekly content calendars, but the moment I sit down to start writing posts, I freeze. The flame fueling the desire to write fizzles out.
  4. I realize I’ve been procrastinating all along. The branding workbooks, the content calendars– all distractions.
  5. I disappear from the blog, the youtube channel, and social media because seeing other peoples’ posts makes me feel guilty for avoiding writing. It makes me feel insecure that anything I have created or will go on to create will never be as good as what they create, so why bother?

I most recently had been stuck in phase five, but as frustrating as it is, step five is not inherently bad. I mean, the negative internal speak is terrible, but the break from creating and consuming content isn’t bad. It’s refreshing to step back from the undeclared competition of blogging, and it’s refreshing to stop reading about how other people define success in the blogosphere. It’s also during this time that I re-evaluate what I love about blogging, and why it’s been my hobby for more than half my life. It’s never been about popularity or money, so I don’t know why I keep putting pressure on myself to achieve that kind of success. It’s always been about writing, creativity, and community, and once that realization settles in, I can throw myself back into my hobby.

Lately, I’ve been focusing on creating a daily writing habit. That way, if I ever fall into a rut again, I have routine to fall back on. I am also trying to find my online community again. It used to be easy to define back when I considered myself a book blogger, but as you must have noticed by now, I’m not reading much these days (unless it’s a picture book!). Finally, I am rediscovering content I enjoy writing and content that serves a purpose here at By Golly, Ollie! Like, how do I write about tea without writing a “review”? Will readers be interested in what I have to write about “Silencing the Pressure to be the Blogger I’m Not?” How do I write about motherhood but assure readers this isn’t just another mommy blog? I suppose I will figure all of that out soon enough. Right now, I’m just happy to experiment with writing again.

Do you ever feel pressure to blog a certain way or do you find yourself ever trying to achieve other peoples’ definitions of blogging success, and how do you deal with it?

7 Comments on “Silencing the Internal Pressure to be the Blogger I’m Not

  1. This post is definitely resonating with me! A few times I’ve just stripped it back, taken it back to the love of it and the reason why I started my blog in the first place – writing geeky book reviews to relax! Good luck with the daily writing habit – that sounds good to me x

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    • Right! It’s like when I get caught up in competition or other peoples’ definition of “success”, the ability to relax goes right out the window. It’s good that we are at least able to acknowledge this though, that way we can dial it back to what made us happy this the first place 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness, I can totally relate to this post! I started blogging nearly 20 years ago with LiveJournal and have nearly always had one going since then. My current blog has had so many transformations as I change and grow and figure out what is possible for me. Like you, I’ve just been practicing a daily habit of writing. I’m a better person and a much better mom when I take this time for myself, so I’m learning to temper my expectations of “success” and just write about the things I enjoy.

    Enjoy your time at the keyboard! It seems as though it fills your bucket, so I hope you continue to find joy in it.

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    • Yessss! Livejournal!

      I think taking time for myself has made me a better person/mom, too. But, it definitely took me a long time to figure out that “me time” was missing in the first place. I only started making myself a priority again shortly after my kiddo turned a year old, but whhoooo boy, what a relief!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s so hard to do! For me, it has been all about finding a little rhythm early in the morning to do the things that I love — and it’s been enough to get me through the whole day! It’s been amazing to see my days transform just because I wake up a bit earlier to take care of myself.

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  3. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to somehow meet these nebulous goals—sometimes we don’t even know what they are except that we want to do “better.” It’s not sustainable, though, and we’ll just drive ourselves crazy. Glad you’re working toward a healthier attitude!

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